Perspectives, Experiences and Possibilities:
Toward an inclusive private sector in Asia and the Pacific
Regional Diversity and Inclusion Meeting
The regional diversity and inclusion panels were conducted last November 25, 2020 at the Pullman Bangkok King Power. The panels were a ‘hybrid’ model where resource speakers and participants outside of Thailand participated on virtual platform and speakers and participants from Thailand were present at the venue.
The regional diversity and inclusion discussions were composed of panels focusing on the various perspectives on the importance of diversity and inclusion at the private sector, experiences of LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector in the region, and possible strategies for diversity and inclusion at the private sector.
This activity was done in conjunction of the APCOM Community Summit in Bangkok which was composed of various activities on thematic areas including HIV and health, and LGBTQI Rights and Inclusion.
Recorded Live Sessions
Session 1: LGBTQI situation and the situation of LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector
The panel explore the LGBTQI situation in the region, and looked into \the situation of LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector. It also highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion, and some trends, challenges, and the possible effects of COVID19 on diversity and inclusion.
Panelists for this session were Finance Inc country partners from the Philippines and Lao PDR. Atty. Claire de Leon, Executive Director of Babaylanes Inc from the Philippines; Olam Rasaphonh, Program Manager of Community Health and Inclusion Association(CHIAs) in LaoPDR, and Prof. Yiu Tung Suen (DPhil Sociology), Assistant Professor of the Gender Studies Programme; Associate Director of the Gender Research Centre, and Founding Director of the Sexualities Research Programme, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is also a member of the Finance Inc Advisory Group.
Anthony Tenicela, Global Leader, Marketplace Diversity and Workforce Engagement Services at IBM also shared his thoughts on the topic.
Session were opened by Kenza Tarqaat, Deputy Head, Economic and Political Section
Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok and Midnight Poonkasetwatta, Executive Director of APCOM.
Session 2: Making the case for LGBTQI Inclusion in the Private Sector
This panel presented and discussed frameworks from which we can anchor diversity and IGBTQI inclusion in the private sector. Perspectives on inclusion from human rights, economics, and business were surfaced in this session.
Speakers were Prof. M. V. Lee Badgett. Lee, a renowned researcher on LGBTQI and economics, a professor of economics and co-director of the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is also a member of Finance Inc Advisory Group; Professor Emeritus Vitit Muntarbhorn, a Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and the first UN Independent Expert on Protection Against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; and Paul Thompson is Chairman of LGBT Capital, a UK based LGBT Specialist Investment Company.
The session was moderated by Nada Chaiyajit.
Session 3: Experiences of Inclusion of Private Sectors
This session presented LGBTQI inclusion experiences in the private sector, both within and outside the region. Panelists shared their respective experiences, challenges, and possible strategies for LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector.
Speakers were: Zainab Patel , Director for Inclusion and Diversity at KPMG India. Dirk Dalichau,
Managing Director of Eaton Hong Kong; Ronn Astillas, Chair of Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce; and Matt Cameron, Global Managing Director of LGBT Great
Session 4: Challenges and Ways Forward for LGBTQI Inclusion in the
This session explored the challenges for LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector in the context of COVID19, and how the private sector can be partners in the overall goal of equality. It also discussed how some sector can be more LGBTQI inclusive specifically in the areas of finance, tourism, and social media, and how LGBTQI organizations can engage the private sector towards diversity and inclusion.
Panel speakers were Jennifer Lu, Executive Director of Taiwan Equality Campaign; Michael Bak. Head of Public Policy of Facebook Thailand; by Lieu Anh Vu. Vu is the Executive Director at ILGA Asia.
Thailand LGBTQI+ Biz Forum 2020
The event was held on 26 – 27 November 2020 at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel, Infinity Ballroom. This also coincided with the APCOM Community Summit. This was a combination of panel discussions and exhibits and booths from small and medium businesses in
Thailand and from organizations working on equality and non-discrimination.
The LGBTQI+ Biz Forum 2020 was also a venue for interphase between LGBTQI organizations, government agencies and the private sector to discuss diversity and inclusion in the context of Thailand.
Advocacy videos on Diversity and Inclusion
LGBTQI+ Diversity and Inclusion
In this video, Tawan, First and Peach shared their previous experiences of exclusion and discrimination in workplaces based on their sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions. They also share how diversity and inclusion programs and activities in their present
workplaces contribute to confidence and safer workplaces.
The video amplifies the call for diversity and inclusion in terms of practices, policies, activities, and spaces in workplaces. Diversity and inclusion contribute to a a more equal society where people can live in dignity.
LGBTQI+ Social Inclusion
This video looks into how LGBTQI people experience exclusion in various aspects of their lives including families, work, education, and health services. Sam, Kath, Thee, Jeab, and Tao shared their experiences and thoughts on how exclusion is experienced.
This also highlights the need for a more inclusive institutions, policies, and the larger society.
The video calls for ‘leaving no one behind’ and for a society which is diverse but equal.
COVID19 and the LGBTQI+ Community
This video investigates the effects of COVID19 on LGBTQI individual, communities, and businesses.
Told from the perspective of of Parinya “Toom” Charoenphol, a world-renowned professional boxer who challenged the limits of gender binary in the world of sports during the time when the society was a lot less accepting of LGBT+ people. Today, she is running her own boxing gym in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan, and after a long lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic, the business is taking a hit again when another wave of outbreak arrived.
From this video, we also learn about the situation in our region from our Finance Inc project country partners; the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos PDR.
The video calls for more inclusive responses to COVID19. The video also calls for equality and non-discrimination and ensuring that no one is excluded and left behind.